for whatever you need today

I’ve tried the gentle approach. I’ve tried my best assertive “It’s time for sleep now” voice. I’ve tried stroking his head gently and I’ve tried leaving him to cry for a bit. But for this three-year-old, sleep just isn’t coming and the crying won’t stop. I’m ready to strangle something. Anything will do. Rich is away and the voices in my head start to say “What if this is the beginning of him sleeping really badly? What if this is going to happen every time Rich is away? How will I cope if this happens every night? What will my plan of attack be?” Blah, blah, blah.
And before I know it I’ve projected one single incident into a pattern that I start to envision happening every time Rich is away. And I can feel the fear beginning to creep back into my heart.

In need of some momentary adult sanity I pop downstairs and talk to Pip, who’s staying with me, and I ask her to pray .She nods, and I return back upstairs thankful for the legendary Pip, and that she’s part of our family. Taking a deep breath,  I start praying for this unsettled little heart to sleep. There’s a hush of silence as those chubby little fingers grip onto mine and it finally dawns on me to ask our Friend, our Helper, our Companion – the Holy Spirit  – to help. And in the quiet I can hear a whisper straight to my heart “don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries.”

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Each day is a new day. There’s grace for each day. There’s enough grace for today.There’s enough patience, love and energy to look after this three-year old today. I don’t need to worry about tomorrow. I just need to ask for today.

don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

There’s a reason Jesus tells us to pray each day “give us today our daily bread”. When we come to our Father each and every day to ask him for our daily bread we’re acknowledging on a daily basis that we need His help. We’re admitting our dependency today rather than trying to control what’s ahead. As we ask for our daily bread we’re focussing on today, not on tomorrow’s worries.  When fear rises we’re asking Him for the things that we need, and choosing to trust that He’ll provide. For that day. Day-by-day-by-day dependency. Daily bread is so much more than our physical need for food. It’s not just the material things. It’s for all our physical, emotional and spiritual needs.

As we ask for daily bread we’re saying things like:

Lord,

Today, give me your peace for the things I’m worried about

Today, give me your patience with my children

Today, give me your authority in the role you’ve called me to be in

Today, give me your hope for the future

Today, give me your grace in the relationship I find difficult

Today, give me your strength in the job I find exhausting

Today, give me your wisdom for the decisions I need to make

Like children completely dependent on their father, we come before our Father in heaven knowing that He wants to give good things to His kids.

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Matthew 6:9-13

9 “This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation.
but deliver us from the evil one

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20 thoughts on “for whatever you need today

  1. I used to do this… predicting a pattern when none existed. chances are he is teething or getting a cold or some such. this too will pass as they say. My kids are 15 and 6 now and that brings it’s own troubles, for sure but I don’t miss the little people you can’t reason with stage.

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  2. Thank you so much for your practical blogs Anna. So helpful, transparant, vulnerable and at the same time very powerful! It helps me a lot. Always looking forward to read them. You help a lot of people! Be blessed! Hans van der Kooij

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      • Yes, we are really doing well. Lots of opportunities, blessings and some challenges. But never regret a day that we got to know you guys and your influence in our lives. I have an autistic grandson and I had that in mind reading your blog. Really, really helpful. Thank God for your talent. Blessings and love to Rich and your kids.

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    • hans – for some reason I can’t reply to your second comment – but great to hear that you are doing well, and so encouraged that this post is helpful to you. Come to Sheffield again sometime soon! love to you both from us all!

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  3. You articulate this so well – standing in the present is all we can do, knowing He is faithful. Being in the now and trusting in the not yet. Truth, but hard to live sometimes! I often feel so inadequate parenting alone when Andy is away, studying, focused elsewhere and I wish for it to be over….and yet I know that what I worry about happening is often distracting me from something God wants to show me. It’s why I love that discipline of the circle – what is God saying in that? Otherwise I would miss kairos amongst the mundane, survival, maintenance mode. Thanks for this. X

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    • So true, there’s so much to learn from unexpected circumstances. It’s important to stand back and reflect enough to then be able to step out in faith and allow the reflections to make a difference in our lives. thanks Alice. x

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  4. Thanks for this! I could literally have written the same words in your first paragraph for my nearly 3 yr old girl!
    Must keep trusting in Him to help me x

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  5. Love this Anna. Tonight I literally said “I don’t want him to become a 3 year old who I do battle with every bedtime” – talk about getting ahead of myself with a 12 week old! Day by day instead I think.

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  6. Thanks for this Anna! Even though I don’t have children, the reminder to ask for my daily bread is valuable especially when work is hard or things are not going so well.

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  7. Thanks Anna needed to read this today! Day 2 with Baby Anabelle …. Need to keep this at the forefront of my mind over the coming weeks and months! Xxxxx

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  8. Thank you so much for this! I am such a worrier and would have felt exactly the same way! I am going to print this out and remind myself that those worries and concerns aren’t exclusive to me and have that prayer in my heart. xx

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